image of Dr. Daniel Hale Williams

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams was born in 1856, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. Due to the discrimination of the day, African American citizens were still barred from being admitted to hospitals, and Black doctors were refused staff positions. Firmly believing this needed to change, in May 1891, Dr. Williams opened Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the nation’s first hospital with a nursing and intern program that had an interracial staff. Dr. Williams was also one of the first physicians to successfully complete pericardial surgery on a patient. Dr. Williams later became chief surgeon of the Freedmen’s Hospital.

Dr. Williams worked diligently on revitalization, improving surgical procedures, increasing specialization, launching ambulance services, and continuing to provide opportunities for Black medical professionals, among other feats. In 1895, he co-founded the National Medical Association, a professional organization for Black medical practitioners.